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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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Alex Mathew’s project

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Alex Mathew came preoccupied with the real life story of the abandoned wife of an artist friend. This woman crazed with grief disappeared and no one knew whether she was dead or alive. Anita helped him compose a Brechtian ballad around this story which formed the border around his work. He wanted shadows to represent the stories of such women, but was unable to convince working-class women who came to cut grass in Sikribagh, to come into a darkened room to model for the work, for fear of scandal. Sheba, Shilpa and Anita helped out and their shadows were cut out from plyboards and painted black. Installed on the terrace of the house, the iron structure with a hook as well as the negative areas of the plyboards contributed to this study of traumatized women.

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